Film Bitch History
Oscar History

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Directors of For Sama

Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Wanuri Kahiu (Rafiki)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

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Entries in Best Actor (277)


TIFF Derring-Do Double: "The Aeronauts" and "Ford v Ferrari"

by Nathaniel R

Those magnificent men (and women) and their flying machines. What prompts people to build aerodymanic death traps in which to race at incredible never before accomplished speeds or go up up up to never before seen heights?  Today's double feature centers on just this type of man and their creations.  

FORD V FERRARI (James Mangold)
This very handsomely made film centers around a famous late 60s battle between the massive Ford Motor Company and the Italian boutique manufacturer Ferrari. How did Detroit's Henry Ford II come to battle Enzo Ferrarri in the European playground of Le Mans anyway? And how does the film get you to root for the Goliath rather than the David in this battle? That's the magic of this old fashioned well-paced movie. Older audiences might be familiar with this story but we weren't so it all played out like a fleet-footed and hot wheeled corporate drama mixed with inspirational sports movie...

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TIFF: "The Two Popes" is a Gentle Giant

by Chris Feil

Late in Fernando Meirelles’ The Two Popes, Jonathan Pryce’s Cardinal Bergoglio (who would eventually become the current Pope Francis) throws up his arms in befuddlement and spouts “Two popes?!” That kind of winning self-aware wit flows throughout the film, an unexpectedly comedic chamber piece that thrusts Pryce opposite Anthony Hopkins as Pope Benedict XVI. Theirs is a gentle battle of minds as the film plays out mostly through several meetings between the two, with Bergoglio the somewhat progressive mind pushing for change in the Catholic church and Benedict adhering to stasis and tradition.

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Oscar Trivia, Weekly. A Pop Quiz!

by Eurocheese

Since Nathaniel is flying to Toronto as we speak (TIFF kicks off tomorrow and runs through Sunday, September 15th), I volunteered to handle this week's Oscar Trivia column for him. I thought it might be fun to throw out a little quiz. THE ANSWERS WILL BE AFTER THE JUMP – no peeking! -- and be honest in the comments. How many can you guess correctly?

1. The highest number of Oscar wins for a single person is a whopping 22. Name the person who won them.

2. Last year, Roma won three Oscars. That means it missed the record for the most Oscars won by a foreign language film, a record currently held by which two films?

3. Have there been more female or more African-American Director nominees in the Academy’s history? (Both are sadly too few... bonus points if you can name all of those nominees)

4. The longest screen time for an Oscar nominated performance ended up netting the performer a win. The shortest nominated performance of all time did not. Can you name these two performances?

5. Which country has won the most Best Foreign Language Film Oscars? And which country has been nominated most often in the category? 

6. Name the only actor or actress that has multiple posthumous nominations.

7. Only one person has an Olympic gold medal and an Academy Award. Name that person.

8. No film has ever won all four acting categories. Can you name the two films that came closest to that mark?

9. Name the most Oscar nominated woman in the Academy’s history.

10. How many times has a debut performance won the Best Actor Oscar?

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Oscar narratives being pushed out of Telluride & Venice

by Nathaniel R

Hmmm... let's see Joaquin Phoenix Joker and Adam Sandler Uncut Gems for Best Actor (blargh and double-blargh*), Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson for Marriage Story, A24's Waves for everything, Renee Zellweger's second Oscar for Judy, Christian Bale for Ford v Ferrari, Ad Astra for something or other (or will this go the First Man route of being wildly praised at its festival bow and then too "reserved" emotionally to actually catch on?) and... what else... what else.... Sure we missed something.  

It all feels dizzying right now since everything just began happening all at once, as is tradition this week of each year. The numbers of course don't add up. If you accept preemie buzz with no caveats about anything that happens after this week, we already have the Best Actor lineup (Phoenix, Driver, Sandler, Bale, and Banderas) and the supporting actor winner (Brad Pitt, OUATIH). But this is a small sampling of the movies and performances to come in the next few months of the year...

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Oscar Trivia, Weekly: Double Oscar winners... How long does it take?

For today's utterly random weekly Oscar trivia, how about two-time acting winners? For the purposes of this list we're ignoring the rare third wins (that list only includes six people: Streep, Hepburn, Nicholson, Bergman, Brennan, and Day-Lewis) and focusing on the gaps between the first and second Oscar wins. What is most common for the double-dippers?

Marlon Brando's two wins...


Helen Hayes (38 years: The Sin of Madelon Claudet to Airport)

Katharine Hepburn (34 years: Morning Glory to Guess Who's Coming to Dinner)

Frances McDormand (21 years: Fargo to Three Billboards)...

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Oscar Chart Updates: Two-Lead Men's Movies

Robert Pattinson & Willem Dafoe in "The Lighthouse"

We're in for it with category fraud this year, y'all. Yes, we're in for it every year of course until something finally breaks within the Academy (disgruntled character actors stage a revolution, "do you hear the people sing singing the song of angry men..." c'mon SAG!) but 2019 in particular appears to be a film year with an unusual amount of two-leading-men films. We've got (arguably) The Lighthouse, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Ford v Ferrari, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, The Two Popes, and maybe more. So we've opted to just kind of ignore the problem and assume we know who is going where in the BEST ACTOR and BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR chart updates though as always we wish the leading men would just stay in lead like they're supposed to. If it was good enough for Amadeus, it's good enough for you, people!

Having said all that we just realized we left Matt Damon (Ford v Ferrari) and Robert Pattinson (The Lighthouse) off of either chart which is silly but not intentional. We'll squeeze them in somewhere as soon as we have a moment.  What do you think of the new rankings? Any strong hunches this August?